Saturday, November 20, 2010

Movie Review: Frozen (2010)

So I saw a couple of weeks ago that a ton of people reviewed Frozen and gave it fair comments. Figured I should check it out for meself. And me liked it.

Three friends - Parker (Emma Bell), Lynch (Shawn Ashmore), and Dan (Kevin Zegers) - are on a skiing trip together in New England. Wanting to go out for one last run after night falls, they convince the chairlift operator to let them up even as they are closing. But the lift shuts down before the friends get off and they are left stranded in the chair 50 feet above ground. The resort will be deserted for the next five days. How will they survive?

Surprisingly, I didn't have much doubt that this film would be good. Impressive work by writer and director Adam Green with his previous film Hatchet (and Grace sort of because he was producer) plus the wildness of the plot was enough to convince me that Frozen could be one hell of an interesting ride. And I think I was right.

I was skeptical about the plot. Trapped in a ski lift? Big whoop, right? But then you gotta think about the freezing temps; the elevation of the mountain and your elevation above the ground which makes jumping a danger; and the fact that the cables on these lifts are razor sharp, making it not as easy to just shimmy across to the nearest pole and climb down. Plus Green adds in a pack of bloodthirsty wolves on the ground to add to the kids' dire situation. So in that sense, he covered his bases well in making us believe that there weren't that many options for these three to get away as easily as one would think.

Two essential things I think are necessary for a film with a relatively thin plot such as this is characters and pacing, and Green hits the mark with both of these. The characters at first seem like rather typical college friends, but I think they all have a great relationship and nobody is a stereotype. The pacing is also well done, with hardly any lulls in action.

One thing that impressed me the most was the dialogue, and is what helped me like the characters. I think I was expecting a lot of whining and the kids cursing at each other blah blah blah, but there was mostly none of that. They lose their cool a few times with each other, especially Parker and Lynch, and even though they don't seem that close (as Dan's best friend and the girlfriend who seems to have stolen him away from Lynch) they manage to help each other out through the situation. There's a lot of talking about mundane things to supposedly keep their minds off what they have gotten themselves into, but what they're really saying is just how important these mundane things really are, and how you realize that when you are so close to death. I don't know about the top three breakfast cereals being that important (Raisin Bran, Honey Nut Chex, Lucky Charms) or having a dog named Steve, but Lynch getting them to talk about these things made the characters more endearing and lovable and you don't want to see anything bad happen to them. Or at least I didn't. And there was a great moment when Dan was being attacked by the wolves and he's screaming at Lynch not to let Parker look. Heartbreaking!

There was a small willy moment when Parker wakes up and her bare hand is grasping the metal safety bar. Oh shit! At first I had a funny flashback to A Christmas Story, but then realized that this was probably not so funny. So then we get a really gross shot of her pulling the skin off her hand to free herself. Ouch.

I hate to be a bitch and blame the victim or whatever, but Dan should have thought a little more carefully about that jump before going all Evel Knievel. I know it was a pressure situation and all, but it doesn't take a genius to know that jumping feet first straight down was about the dumbest thing ever to do. Should have tried curling himself into a ball or something on the way down. Then your freaking bones wouldn't be sticking out of your legs, dumbass.

Another dumb thing they do is when Lynch finally makes it across the cables to the pole, the wolves have returned and he still jumps down anyway, with only a ski pole to defend himself with! He might have tried waiting until the wolves were, oh I don't know, GONE maybe? Yeah? Even after all that talk about how wolves typically avoid people, these seem to be aggressive little buggers and end up killing both Dan and Lynch (sorry for the spoiler). Thankfully, though, when little Parker goes sliding down the hill and comes face to face with about five of them, they just leave her alone and by this point, the audience really needed something good to happen to these people.

Oh, by the way - hey you, Kane Hodder!

Yeah, you better believe I know it's you! Good to see you.

The Netflix description calls Frozen a "taut thriller" and I think that's the best way to describe it. It's an interesting turn from other horror films or thrillers out there and a nice film to launch the new A Bigger Boat production company (love the name). And it's great that Green chose to do something like this after the bloodbath that was Hatchet.


  1. I really, really wanted to love this movie. The poster artwork looks terrific and the trailer was amazing - sadly it disappointed me. Think it's too slow and there are waaay too many things that just don't make any sense.

    At least it's always nice to look into Kane Hodder's eyes :)

  2. I loved this movie, amazing how the director kept the story interesting on three people ans a ski lift, one of my favourite movies this yesr

  3. Glad you liked this too. As far as the girl not getting attacked by the wolves, I think they filled up on the first guy. The juiciest bits of the second guy were desert. By the time she came sliding by, the pack was sated and just happy to guard the remains of guy #2 until their next meal.

  4. Agh! Like MM up there ^ I WANTED to like this movie. Cool concept, scary situation, interesting scenery.

    But I HATED the characters. They were annoying and unlikeable, every one. All the bloodthirsty wolves and razor wires in the world couldn't hold my interest with these three jerks as the victims.

    Although the hand on the metal bar scene made me wince like hell.

  5. it showed a lot of promise, until there was mention of 'razor sharp' ski lift cables.... they're not razor sharp. I worked on ski lifts during my gap year, the cables are smooth steel, tightly wound, super strong. Not at all razor sharp. I lost interest in the film when this silly nonsense appeared.